The building of institutional architecture has long been obsession of state since independence and the legacy continues till date.  Since then we have witnessed the architecture that are abstemiously struggling to bring about pan-Indian architecture of earlier phase to contemporary global architecture in recent times. The architecture that oscillated from decadence of Indian architectural wisdom to eclecticism of formal annexation in recent times, and both tendencies depict the enthusiasm to embrace the architecture that is contemporary enough, yet has embededness. The degree of experiments are perhaps have similar intensity as well as both the virtues brings about similar paradox, i:e how the idea of intellectual modernity challenging every day, “the rootedness social conditions” making conflicting reality to be perceived as being progressive at the same time vehemently bringing out the experiences away from colonial production.

The recently designed and constructed institute building for SPA Vijayawada demonstrates, on one side the similar conditions and traits that are historically developed yet moves away from genesis of architectural vocabulary that has been seen as forced template of post-independence architecture for the state. The architecture of the building has Corbusien idioms in many ways, yet explores it formal interpretation by re-reading/organizing the program. The four layers that are stacked with impounded formal implosion, exploring architecture of non-program, embodying the experiential dimensions that are often missing in the contemporary institutional architecture. The architecture of the building also depicts some of those brutal tendencies, clearly reflecting the formative circumstances of post-independence experiments with the institutions.

The architecture of the SPA’s definitely opens up the discourse on renewed ethics on cherished functionalist notion on one side while challenging the doctrine that comes as pre-determined aesthetics of global architecture. The buildings also bring the subtle transition of modern ethos of earlier first generation experiments by third generation of architects.

The building is still in its formative years in terms of its use and yet to be seen the role of such spaces,  web of program and non program in coming years which are apparently adding the value to the architecture.

Photo Credit: Manoj Parmar Architects

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  1. Appreciate the critical review of the SPAV institute building! It helps the studio reflect on our thought process five years ago when we had won the competition. Agree with you on the aspect of time when we would witness the envisioned relationships between non program spaces and the defined program spaces based on use. Thanks for putting the project into a larger framework of an architectural discourse!


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